“Different families, different standards.”
“Ain’t nonyabidness – that’s between them and God.”
“Obedience always brings blessing.”
These are phrases that we use to brainwash our children on a regular basis. We tell them these things from the time that they are small. We expect them to finish the statements once we’ve begun them. We even expect them to teach them to their children. (We don’t just have a single generational perspective around here!) 🙂
But, I’m finding more and more that beyond these phrases in our home, we are doing brainwashing on an entirely different level these days. When I was growing up, we had friends that had a lovely farm, just down the road a piece. We spent a lot of time there (picking asparagus by the month…maybe just by the day, for one) working and playing and just enjoying being outside.
However, every fall, you could hardly keep me home. I was down there every possible moment. You see, it was harvest season and there were men to feed….lots of men to feed. (Granted, most of those “men” were really older boys, but to me, they seemed like men.)
We would carry plates of food and biscuits up and down the rows for the men to eat. Most of the time, we did this in the house – but some falls, the days were so delicious that we’d set the tables up outside and all the meals would be eaten outside. Those were the days I loved the most.
There was something very special about climbing out of my parents’ truck to the smell of food cooking outside – and the piece de resistance, cooking in a large kettle over a slow fire – was the apple butter. Sublime! (Especially on fresh, warm buttermilk biscuits!)
Despite loving all the food preparation and serving, we were always faced with the staggering task of cleaning up afterwards. Oh My Stars!!! Those boys would shovel that food down and when they were done, the room looked suspiciously like a Cookie Monster family reunion! But, we’d get right to it and start in on those dishes. (I assure you, Rae Anne and I left them one time – we never made that mistake twice!)
The only way to be ready and able to feed the men the next meal (and there usually were two per day) was to make sure all the clean up was done ahead of time. If we didn’t do that, we’d have run out of dishes and no matter how much cooking we had done ahead of time, the men would still be eating out of their hands. (Sloppy work, that kind of meal. Been there, done that – we served mashed potatoes, sausages, jello salad, tossed salad and peas for a meal with no silverware. I know what I speak of!)
We could have slaved over the food prep and made the most delicious meal available – but our efforts would have been for naught, without clean dishes.
So too our work in the Kingdom, if our minds are dirty.
Now, before I go another word into this, I am not talking about garbage thoughts – lust style. I’m talking about any form of ungodly thinking. As we have been on our adventure for the Kingdom, the ONE thing that has been hardest is washing my brain from wrong/bad and ungodly thinking. Anything that I can’t back up with the Word of God is “dirty” and must be washed away. (This includes some teaching we’ve received from the church, even. Things that we now refer to as “Traditions of Men.” All these things leave us in bondage – that we both desire and require freedom from.)
I shared not too long ago the importance of keeping a reign on my thoughts. I am not talking about the really obvious stuff. I’m talking about the little things – thoughts that sound like this, “We really need to have this or that finished, but we can’t do it in our own strength, will the Lord help us?” THAT is a thought that must be washed away. And the only thing strong enough to wash it away? The water of the Word!!
As I begin to share with you what it means to be a Kingdom Family, I suspect that you too will find that you need some brainwashing, as well. Jeff and I are in the process of writing up a number of little daily “devotional-type” things that we’re going to refer to as “Brainwashing.” We took some of the hardest-to-control thoughts and we’re applying the soap of the Word of God to them, in order to think more like Christ.
Please pray about joining us for these little daily washings of the Word for your mind. We will be setting it up so that you can receive them via email. I’ll let you know when we’re ready for people to sign up. (I expect next week) But, until then, make certain that you’re spending time in the Word daily.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”